Endangered Maritime Ringlet Shows Continued Decline in Eastern Canada

Coenonympha nipisiquit

An endangered butterfly species in eastern Canada appears to be declining in numbers, but a better understanding of how environmental conditions affect its lifecycle may better inform conservation efforts, according to a new study in Environmental Entomology. Coenonympha nipisiquit, also known as the maritime ringlet, lives in just 10 salt marshes in Quebec and New […]

Walking With the Butterflies in Taiwan’s Maolin Valley

crow butterflies

By Laura Kraft This post is the seventh in the “Travel Bug” series by Laura Kraft, a recent graduate from the University of Georgia, who is chronicling her travels in Asia from an entomological perspective. See earlier posts from the series. Late January in the Northern Hemisphere means cooler temperatures, but it was nothing new […]

The Eyes of Common Bluebottle Butterflies Have 15 Photoreceptor Classes

When researchers studied the eyes of common bluebottle butterflies (Graphium sarpedon), they found at least 15 different classes of “photoreceptors” — light-detecting cells comparable to the rods and cones in the human eye. Previously, no insect was known to have more than nine. The results of their study are published in the journal Frontiers in […]

The Butterfly Changes its Spots — Eyespots, that is

Eyespots are one of nature’s favorite forms of misdirection, shared by fish, frogs, birds, and many insects. Aside from deflecting attack, they can also be used as a “startle” mechanism, being flashed just long enough to delay attack briefly and allow a species to escape. In addition, they can also be used for camouflage, providing […]

Some Moths are Actually Butterflies According to DNA Sequencing Study

By tracing nearly 3,000 genes to the earliest common ancestor of butterflies and moths, University of Florida scientists have created an extensive “Tree of Lepidoptera” in the first study to use large-scale, next-generation DNA sequencing. The study found that some insects once classified as moths are actually butterflies, increasing butterfly species to a higher number […]